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Go Solar: The new mantra

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By Ila Garg

Opting for renewable energy is fast becoming the new trend. Every other household is finally seeing the benefits of solar energy: a source of electricity that is renewable, off-the-grid, clean, distributed and most importantly, affordable.

India can be most benefited from this renewable energy as more than half of the population still lives in rural areas where the grid cannot reach. These remote areas have therefore never seen electricity. They are lurking in the darkness as the world progresses each day. Now, India can finally move out of the darkness and into light, with at least 55 cities being developed as solar cities.

Taking a step towards solarising India, on Thursday, Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain released a Delhi Solar Energy Policy 2015 draft. This Policy aims at generating 1,000 MW of solar power in the next five years. This will help in resolving power cut worries quite easily.

SolarPanels

At an event at the secretariat, Satyendra Jain remarked, “To promote solar energy, solar panels will be installed on the roof-tops of every government building and we’ll start with the Delhi Secretariat.”

The minister also revealed that a tender for 5MW solar power generation has been floated. “We have a target to generate 1,000 MW of solar power in the next five years and 2,000 MW by 2025,” he said.

He further added, “This solar policy will promote a rapid growth of solar power, especially from the roof-top source, via a combination of generation targets, regulations, mandate and incentives. This will also promote net-metering and grid connectivity for all solar plants.”

If all goes well, very soon, every household in Delhi will not only have access to an uninterrupted power supply but also save on the electricity bills.

Earlier, the Rajasthan government had approved of an investment of Rs. 1.56 lakh crore in the solar power sector. Sighting the benefits of solar power, the world’s first 12 MW solar power plant was inaugurated by Kerala’s chief minister at the Kochi airport. No wonder the newest metro line added to Delhi metro is NCR’s first solar equipped metro line.

Overseas, China too has already started building its largest solar plant to meet its voluptuous power needs. That’s not all. The enormous usage of this clean, green energy will leave you astonished; the first solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2, made its first successful flight on 3 July, 2015.

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The initial installation cost is a little on the higher side. However, since the cost can be recovered in a span of a few years, it remains a lucrative deal. Also, the enormous benefits cannot be ignored. What makes solar power the talk of the town is the fact that it is 100% eco-friendly and can reach the areas where the grid cannot.

Does that mean we will see a solar world soon?

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Solar-Power Inflatable Lights: A New Invention

The company also sells the LuminAID light to customers through their Give Light, Get Light program.

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Solar power system, Pixabay

People need light for daily activities, but in some places in the world, access to reliable power is a problem, and hurricanes and earthquakes can make the matter worse.

Andrea Sreshta and Anna Stork understand how important light is to people in need. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Sreshta and Stork, then graduate students in architecture and design at Columbia University, wanted to do something to help.

“We wanted to create something, a basic necessity and we focused in on lighting,” says Sreshta.

As a school assignment, Sreshta and Stork designed a lighting product that was lightweight, portable and wireless and with solar power something that might help improve the safety and living conditions of Haitians.

The result was the LuminAID light. An inflatable plastic, waterproof rectangle light that can be recharged with solar power.

Solar Power
LuminAID Portable Solar Lighting. VOA

What was only a school project for Stork and Sreshta turned into a more serious endeavor when friends and contacts began sending the lights to those in need.

“We made this in our kitchens and we built the first 50 prototypes by hand,” says Stork.

In their final year of architecture school, Sreshta and Stork filed a patent for the portable lamp, which had solar power and shortly after graduating, the two traveled to India and conducted field tests on their prototype.

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LuminAID co-founders Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta. VOA

Stork says visiting villages without stable access to electricity but ready for solar power products was really meaningful to them.

“It helps us understand the houses and the conditions that these people were living in. And what was so interesting is one of the villages that we’ve visited the house was made out of really thick cement, so even in the daytime, it was completely dark inside the house. So we saw a real need for portable lighting,” Stork says.

Also Read: India’s Government Hosts First Ever CSR Awards

In 2011, Sreshta and Stork launched their business LuminAID. They admit that when they started their business, they didn’t know much about disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

“We knew we had a product that could potentially make a difference in people’s lives after disasters like the earthquake in Haiti or even in places where people lack stable electricity,” says Sreshta. “We have been fortunate enough to work with partners like non-government organizations, humanitarian groups and disaster relief organizations which distribute our lights to people in need.”

The company also sells the LuminAID light to customers through their Give Light, Get Light program. And for each purchase by an individual, the program sends a light to someone in need.

“Seeing our lights being used by people around the world creates a mix of emotions for us,” says Stork and Sreshta. “From feeling relieved that we were able to produce and deliver our product, to being humbled by the ability to touch the lives of people we will likely never meet.” (VOA)